Buyers Beware - Fake OPI nail polish!

Fake anything especially make-up makes me very angry!

Yesterday I was browsing Ebay because I wanted to get some OPI nail polishes and came across few clearly fake ones.

I got few OPIs from Ebay and never had an issue. Mine came from US sellers who charged US retail prices for their polishes. They sold lots and lots of them and seemed to specialize in nail products.

Yesterday I came across few lots of "OPI" nail polishes. I saw fair dew lots from sellers who don't particularly specialize in nail products. They were "factory seconds" and were missing a label. The shades were very random and I never saw those shades in OPI collections. However I know that some counterfeit OPIs will have a lable with colour name on it.

I was fortunate enough and never got a fake OPI nail polish. So I will show you what a REAL one looks like.

1. The front of the bottle
Note the writing. There are some variations between old and new editions of OPI but the writing at the front is the same. The letters shouldn't be smudged and shouldn't come off easily.

2. The back of the bottle should look like this
or like this (new vs old edition)
3. The label and serial number
The label should have two layers (however sometimes the top can peel off but you can still recognise the bottom layer). The top layer peel off, it should have ingredients listed on reverse side. The bottom layer looks like this.
Note that the top layer has a serial number and the bottom layer has shade name and number. The serial number should match the one printed on the bottle.
4. Two metal balls. You can see them on the picture above

5. The lid
This is how the top of the lid looks like. Note a small indentation on letter P.
Also the lid doesn't sit flash, there is a small gap between the lid and the bottle.
 and this is what it looks like inside.

6. The brush.
This is what OPI pro wide brush looks like. I don't know if you can see or not but there is "OPI" written at the base of the brush. Note that the bristles only taper slightly.

I just hope we won't be flooded with fake OPIs like we were with fake MACs recently. What makes me sick is that some  "deal of the day" companies were selling fakes too.


  1. wow thank you! i just got two of my new polishes today from online, was dissapointed that they were fake :( well looks like im gonna have to telll this person she sold me fake OPI, and i did ask her if they were authenic and she said yesss hmmmm :/ well now i know what fake OPI look like THANK YOU FOR THE COOL POST!!!!

  2. I ordered a couple of opi and now I am worried of what to expect.

  3. Electrocat is right - counterfeit OPI nail varnish is being produced in China and the Chinese factories are promoting it to unsuspecting retailers as the real thing! I can confirm this as I've just been approached by a Chinese factory today offering a range of 300 OPI colours wholesale. An inexperienced retailer might not be aware that they are not stocking the genuine article so do watch out!

  4. Thanks for this. I've just gone through all my OPI's and discovered two fakes. I bought them from a bricks and mortar shop too - so I am a little miffed. There was no dent in the P of OPI on the top of the lid, the lid sits flat, there were no ball bearings and there were not two stickers on the bottom. I am going to go see the people at the shop tomorrow because my suspicion is that they don't realise either.

  5. I received three nail polishes from eBay. Unfortunately when I painted them I noticed the paint liquid seem not right and smell odd to the original OPI that I brought form the shop few months ago. So I goggled ‘fake OPI’ on internet, and found you here. Mmm I was right that they are fake!

    1. The P letter seem not match to your photo, on the front of the bottle
    2. They don’t have a serial number.
    3. They don’t have two metal balls in each bottle.
    4. They don’t have a small indentation on Letter P on the top of the lid.
    5. The lid closeed fully, no gap between the lid and the bottle
    6. NOT HAPPY JAN. Never order them on eBay ever again!
    7. Don’t buy OPI from everything..girly on eBay!!

  6. I am just as frustrated by fake OPI polish being sold as the real deal, however I don't think Ebay is the only culprit. Here is a copy of a post I did on Specktra.Net in response to OPI's diversion policy and OPI's decision to ban online sales.

    "While OPI has published their policy on diversion, as many of you know, most don't understand the complexities that weren't published.

    OPI, many years ago, had some of their polish produced in China (I have a few that have the chinese characters). This was, of course, based on product costs. While most OPI was produced in the states, supply and demand grew exponentially.

    It was much cheaper to have the polish made in China while OPI built a bigger factory.
    The Chinese contractors only produced the polish for a little over 3 years before OPI started making it all in the US.However the damage was done. The Chinese contractors now had the bottle shapes and dimensions, character fonts, product and label knowledge they needed to sell the product on the black market. What started out as a few bottles here and there, has now exploded into the "fake" opi products and they are EVERYWHERE. The most heavily trafficked sales, you guessed it, are online.

    OPI has no choice but to hinder online sales due to consumers buying fake products. This is the only way to make sure these unscrupulous sellers are taken OUT. The only online venue that has thus far escaped the banishment is Ebay. OPI monitors Ebay. I know because I sell there. That isn't to say there aren't fake OPI dealers on Ebay, because there certainly are. As more and more e-tailers are forced to shut down their OPI sales, they too will head to Ebay. Some legit, like myself and some not. I may not like being just another seller on FeeBay but I do understand why OPI is fighting back."

    As I said, more and more people will be flooding Ebay to sell OPI polish. I have been following the lawsuit OPI slapped on because they didn't take down the OPI polish on their website fast enough. OPI is making a strong stand, and even though it makes it harder for everyone to buy their favorite polish, it is because they are done with the sales being done under their trademark and it is also to protect YOU, their consumer.

    I suspect that other manufacturers will be following OPI's lead in the near future.

    As for buying on Ebay, the only advice I can give is this:

    1. KNOW YOUR SELLER. Ebay gives each seller a chance to provide information on their Ebay world or "my ebay". Read them BEFORE bidding on any item. If they haven't taken the time to fill out these pages, then they don't deserve anyones hard earned money.

    2. Find out where they get their polish from. If it's not stated on their Ebay world page ask. OPI makes their licensed re-sellers scan each bar code, post 2011, for tracking the sales of all their polishes.

    3. Do they offer a refund for fake product? Sometimes a seller honestly won't know they have bought a fake product for resell, especially if they are buying outside professional supply chains. Unless they are diligent, it can happen.

    4. DO NOT buy your polish from anyone overseas! Fake OPI polish costs $1.62 PER BOTTLE TO MAKE

    5. If you DO buy on Ebay and suspect you were sold a fake product, REPORT THE SELLER. If enough buyers report a seller then Ebay will ban them and they lose ALL feedback!

    6. Feedback! Read the sellers feedback. That's the first line of defense for any buyer.

    7. Look for sellers who take their own pictures and also take pictures of each individual label so you can see the batch# associated with the polish lot.

    Hope I helped someone, somewhere with this post :)

  7. I'm on the fence about the dot on the P - I've got a fair few OPIs, and two of the ones I bought from the official UK website ( don't have the dot! x


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